By Shalini Bhardwaj
New Delhi [India], June 4 (ANI): A study has revealed that the Delta variant, which was first detected in India, is "more infectious" and is also the reason behind the second wave of the Covid-19 pandemic.
The Delta variant or the B.1.617.2 strain is "more infectious" than the Alpha variant which was first detected in Kent, UK, stated the study carried out by scientists of Indian SARS-CoV-2 Genomic Consortia (INSACOG) and National Centre for Disease Control (NCDC).
The study further said, "It has been found that Delta variant is in fact, 50 per cent more contagious than the Alpha strain."
INSACOG, which is the consortium of labs undertaking genome sequencing in India, has recommended stringent measures to be taken by the Union Health Ministry and NCDC that are to be communicated to all the states and union territories and not just the high burden states.
"Frequent written communications by Union Health Ministry and NCDC to all States/UTs (Not just to the high burden states) stressing the need for more stringent measures, have been sent at regular intervals," the study said.
The study further said, "States/UTs are advised to keep strict surveillance in the districts reporting new variants of concern and take up stringent public health measures including contact tracing, genome sequencing of positive samples of persons having a history of international travel."
"Information on genome sequencing is shared with the States twice in a month. In VCs with States, Union Health Ministry also informed about the current status of variants of concern and new mutants and stressed on increased and stringent public health interventions," it stated.
The public health information shared with States said that the Delta variant is present in all states, but has infected people mostly in Delhi, Andhra Pradesh, Gujarat, Maharashtra, Odisha, and Telangana, which were the worst hit in the second surge.
According to the study "The B.1.617 lineage of SARS CoV-2 has been first reported from Maharashtra but now seen in other states like West Bengal, Andhra Pradesh, Delhi, Gujarat, Telangana."
However, the study also states that the role of the Delta variant in more deaths and severity is not proved. (ANI)